Arnold Schwarzenegger announces his return for TERMINATOR 5… Minions run amok in DESPICABLE ME 2… Supernatural drama coming in MARY LOSS OF SOUL…
From the luxurious Cinefantastique Online studios in NYC, Dan Persons brings you up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of genre media.
What is reality? What is identity? How long can a soul survive when one’s perceptions and one’s self are subject to electronic editing at a moment’s whim? These and many other fascinating questions are raised and almost immediately dropped in TOTAL RECALL, director Len Wiseman’s retelling of the Philip K. Dick tale of an ordinary working Joe discovering his own secret life courtesy of a recreational brain reprogramming service. The story was previously brought to the screen by Paul Verhoeven, with Arnold Schwarzenegger starring, but does stripping the film of Verhoeven’s camp, satirical outlook and bringing in Colin Farrell as a more credible protagonist automatically mean the scenario regains the challenging, visionary paranoia of the Dick original?
Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons come together to explore thematic opportunities offered and missed in this latest remake, as well as dissecting the appeal of the film’s post-apocalyptic world and evaluating whether the core concept of the Rekall memory implant system makes any sense to begin with. Click on the player to hear the discussion.
Deadline reports that former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is indeed signed to star in a new TERMINATOR film.
Major Hollywood agency CAA is shopping a film “package” that includes Schwarzenegger and currently hot director Justin Lin (FAST FIVE) to studios.
The article claims that Universal, Sony Pictures and Lionsgate are very interested in the project, though no script has yet been devised.
There may be some degree of urgency to the TERMINATOR franchise; in 2018 North American rights to the characters will technically revert to original writer/director James Cameron (and presumably producer/co-writer Gale Anne Hurd).
The rubber hits the road in this episode of the Cinefantastique Round Table, the Podcast with a Sense of Wonder. Dan Persons, Lawrence French, and Steve Biodrowski offer commentary on the week’s news (Stan Lee and Arnold Schwarzenegger team up to make THE GOVERNATOR; the uncut ending of HORROR OF DRACULA has been unearthed) and provide capsule reviews of two horror films that opened this weekend: INSIDIOUS, the supernatural thriller from the SAW team of James Wan and Leigh Whannell; and RUBBER, an indie horror-comedy about – believe it or not – a homicidal tire with SCANNERS-like telekinetic ability. Plus, the usual rundown of upcoming theatrical events and home video releases, followed by a Black Hole Ultra-Lounge discussion of the Greatest Cinematic Cheats in Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction Films.
Deadline reports that at a MIPTV press conference in Cannes,Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a 3-D feature film was being added to his multi-media project THE GOVERNATOR, in addition to the animated cartoon, the trailer of which seen in this video.
On top of the planned 52-episode series, the venture will include a comic book and internet material. According to Andy Heyward of A Squared Entertainment, the feature film is planned for release in aearly 2013.
Arnold Schwarzenegger also received the Legion d’Honeur award in Cannes this morning, Boy, talk about hitting the ground running!
Hoping this is an elaborate April Fool’s joke, here it comes. Entertainment Weekly announced that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stan Lee have teamed up to create THE GOVERNATOR, an animated cartoon superhero version of Schwarzenegger himself.
“When I ran for governor back in 2003 and I started hearing people talking about ‘the Governator,’ I thought the word was so cool… The word Governator combined two worlds: the world of politics and the movie world. And brings everything together. It combines the governor, the Terminator, the bodybuilding world, the True Lies…”
Stan Lee is quoted as saying: “The Governator is going to be a great superhero, but he’ll also be Arnold Schwarzenegger. We’re using all the personal elements of Arnold’s life. We’re using his wife. We’re using his kids. We’re using the fact that he used to be governor. Only after he leaves the governor’s office, Arnold decides to become a crime fighter and builds a secret high-tech crime-fighting center under his house in Brentwood.”
The article lists an Arnold Cave, “Super Suits” that will allow The Governator to fly and grant other abilities, a wacky team of sidekicks, and super villains. One of these will be called Gangsters Imposters Racketeers Liars & Irredeemable Ex-cons ( G.I.R.L.I.E. Men).
Says Schwarzenegger: “I love the idea of a control center below my house with a path so that boats and submarines can go right into the ocean. In the cartoon, my house is much closer to the beach than where we live, but, you know, it’s a cartoon.”
If this isn’t a gag, look for it in 2012. Actually, it sounds like it could be funny —as a one-off spoof. A series? Seems like stretching a joke too far.
According to The Hollywood Reporter,
Bryan Cranston (BREAKING BAD) is in serious talks to play the villain in Columbia’s remake of TOTAL RECALL.
Based on Philip K. Dick’s We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1966, the story was the inspiration for 1990’s TOTAL RECALL, directed byPaul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Colin Farrell is set to play the lead, Douglas Quaid (Quail in the original story) in the remake to be directed by Len Wiseman for Columbia Pictures.
In the 1990 film the storyline used the story’s tale of a man who has memories of being a secret agent on Mars, amping it up to an actual or imagined adventure on Mars.
The remake will forgo any trips to the red planet in favor of a futuristic spy thriller that sets Farrell real or imagined secret agent in New Shanghai against Cranston’s possible role, Vilos Cohaagen, head of the combined nations of Euromerica, intent on an invasion of the smaller country.
Byran Cranston will still get a trip to Mars in Walt Disney Pictures’ Edgar Rice Burroughs-inspired JOHN CARTER OF MARS.
If we had to pick the five greatest theatrical experiences of our adult life (eliminating childhood, where even the lights going down could give goosebumps) then catching TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY on opening day back in July of 1991 would rank highly among them. It’s an amazing thing to walk out of a theater with your head buzzing after witnessing something utterly, totally, and demonstrability different, and TERMINATOR 2 was exactly that – an action epic with an unlikely emotionality at its core, a special effects extravaganza that utilized brand-new technology and combined it flawlessly with reliable, older methods, and, perhaps most amazingly, a sequel that outdid the original in every imaginable way.
The success of The Terminator in 1984 served as a calling card for the talents of both star Arnold Schwarzenegger and writer-director James Cameron, with both having labored for years in low-budget genre efforts before joining forces on a vehicle that called on each of their strengths; playing a (nearly) emotionless cyborg negated the stars thespian weaknesses; the director’s skills, honed working on the special effects for numerous ultra low-budget productions (including numerous Roger Corman efforts and some nifty matte paintings for Escape from New York), allowed Cameron to create viable future tech for very little money. The film was a smash, and the fortunes of both men rose at a geometric rate for the remainder of the decade, creating almost ridiculously high expectations for the inevitable sequel.
Following months of pre-release hype surrounding both the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger to his most iconic role and the use of the groundbreaking digital morphing effects, TERMINATOR 2 did finally debut to virtually universal critical and audience acclaim. Though its action set pieces are justifiably famous, it is the deliberate pacing of James Cameron’s editing that has you gripping for the figurative edge of your seat long before the bullets start flying. Even the major action beats utilized longer takes and far less cutting than you’d find in a similar blockbuster. Cameron always keeps the special relations of both people and objects easy to follow; unlike headache-inducing shows like Transformers, the editing rhythms carry through and establish momentum throughout the film’s running time (watching Michael Bay’s film is like being in the car with a 16-year-old learning to drive a stick shift), and you always know where everyone and everything is in relation to everything else – a depressingly lost art. And though digital effects (in their infancy in 1991) are utilized whenever Robert Patrick’s T-1000’s shifted its liquid metal shape, the rest is achieved through expert models and gasp-inducing stunt work.
Just as important to TERMINATOR 2’s success are the principal actors, almost all of whom make something quite special out of their roles – whether, in the case of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, they were returning to roles they had previously created, or newer editions to the cast. Under James Cameron’s careful direction, Schwarzenegger has always seemed livelier and more comfortable, able to take gentle pokes at his image without degenerating into outright mockery. His reading of certain lines – like his response to Edward Furlong’s shocked exclamation that he was prepared to kill a man in broad daylight (“Of course, I’m a Terminator”) is priceless, and his performance is peppered with unexpected character moments.
Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor is simply amazing to behold, incredibly fit and muscular without being freakishly so. She was one of the more unusually attractive actresses of that era, and Cameron photographs her with a mixture of love and awe – similar to the way Michael Bay photographs an aircraft carrier. The authority that she carries holds the film’s more questionable plot turns in check and more than makes up for TERMINATOR 2’s only real shortcoming, the irritating, lispy performance of Edward Furlong as John Connor – the future leader of the Resistance that we wouldn’t follow across a room.
After the bankruptcy of Carloco Pictures many moons ago, the home video rights to TERMINATOR 2 have leapt from one company to another – and from VHS to Laserdisc to DVD and now Blu-Ray – with decidedly mixed results. After one of the earliest “must have” special edition releases on Laserdisc, all subsequent releases have built off this foundation – including commentary tracks featuring nearly all the production personnel, an extended (and superior) 153min cut of the film (the theatrical ran 137min) that reinstated Michael Biehn’s appearance as Kyle Reese, and literally hundreds of documents and photos from the production. The DVD releases saw the debut of an “extended special edition” running just a few minutes longer than the special edition, and including only two additional scenes – the T-1000 using his fingertips to scan John’s bedroom, and a coda taking place in a futuristic Washington D.C., with Sarah as a grandmother watching as her son, Senator John Connor, play with his daughter in an idyllic park, the Skynet threat finally defeated.
Lionsgate’s new Blu-Ray represents a noticeable improvement over their previous Blu-Ray, taking advantage of the soon-to-flop Terminator: Salvation to re-master TERMINATOR 2. While only those intent on heavily scrutinizing the image on large displays will notice most of the image upgrade, the drastic improvement that the lossless audio offers is immediately evident (back in the Laserdisc days, that first metallic crunch of the Terminator foot crushing the skull always knocked us out of the chair, and we were glad to have that feeling once again).
There has been a lot of grumbling in regards to the use – or misuse – of digital noise reduction on the title, and we wish that we could offer a more definitive answer. TERMINATOR 2 was never a particularly naturalistic-looking film; virtually the entire show is shot with heavy blue filtering, giving even human features near-metallic sheen. We suspect that some people may be mistaking this (and it is the way that the film was originally shot) for a DNR byproduct, though I’ll leave it to people with displays 65-inches and over to determine. The transfer looked good to us.
The extras represent a best-of compilation of previously offered items, with both the original commentary plus the slightly newer commentary track featuring James Cameron and co-writer William Wisher that had been offered with the “Extreme Edition” DVD release – it’s more interesting than the somewhat jumbled cast-crew track by virtue of concentrating on Cameron’s point of view (it is also scene-specific whereas the other is not.)
All extant versions are here as well, though you still have to put in the code 82997 to access the Extended Version; the two scenes that make up the difference between the Extended and Special editions are available separately on the disc and both represent solid cuts (the fingertip scan looks sillier than it probably read and mucks with the pacing, while the D.C. coda is embarrassingly stiff.)
Much of the previous BTS content had been carved up for picture-in-picture content that can be set to run with the film. All the theatrical teasers and trailers are also present (in HD) including the terrific “I promise, I will not kill anyone” spot. If you haven’t already bought the previous edition, this represents a pretty good value for money – particularly for the terrific lossless audio track. If you’re worried about heavy use of DNR, you can check out a very comprehensive screenshot comparison at DVD Beaver. Recommended.